« The Right to Bear Arms | Main | Primum Non Nocere: A Libertarian Stimulus Package »

March 14, 2007

Comments

Mike Huben

Lofty and unrealistic goals have a place in legislation. One need only look at the reduction in discrimination over the past 40 years to see enormous benefits without reaching the original goals.

That said, the NCLB was badly designed: it's unspoken conservative purpose was to provide a club with with to bash public education. That's why it has so many unfunded mandates: it was designed to create and measure failures. Then there would be stacked evidence in favor of private schooling, rather than improving public schooling.

John Pertz

"Then there would be stacked evidence in favor of private schooling, rather than improving public schooling.'

As we all know Mike, public school's in America were an ubiquitous fountain of knowledge touching every child who decided to drink from it before NCLB. Thank you for waking me from my slumber and reiterating that piece of history that was lost on me for some reason. The idea that public schools were terrible before NCLB simply can not be true. Politics in Mike's mind forces him to believe that if only the left were in charge of public schools then there would be no problems. Conservatives or libertarian reformers are the real culprit of public school failures.

Isnt politics grand? Nothing spells social optimality like a governmental structure that forces us to think in highly pubescent left and right political tones. Democracy is it's own worst enemy because it constantly perpetuates a noxious brew of cheep politics. As a result, this grap bag of half lies and convuluted ideas eats alive the vert rationalty that it needs to even function slightly well.

Mike Huben

Ah, I see John that you're of the "cynicism is better than reality" school of thought. Hence you fantasize about what I think.

Your claims give us no reason to expect the results we already have, in education or (as I mentioned) in antidiscrimination. They're very convenient for denuciation, but without any vision for how to solve problems.

John Pertz

Vision? Are we having a religous discussion? Do we need a new preacher who will spell out for us a plan to take us to the promise land? Look, Im all for lofty and grand ideas, but do it on your own dime. Dont use the violence of the state to coerce people into accepting your vision. What good is a vision if abiding by it is not predicated upon volition? Too many pro government types fail to realize the extreme violence inheritant in so many of their ideas, no matter how altruistic their intentions or grand their
"visions." Markets generate plenty of enormous and creative ideas, which allow s for a competition in perceptions. The problem with government visions is that they are inherently uncompetitive and tend to not foster much creativity.

Mike Huben

Once again, John, you provide us with generalized denunciation that dismisses obvious government successes AND even things libertarians want.

Eisenhower's vision of an interstate highway system for example. The green revolution in agriculture. The list is VERY long.

But let's look at the classic libertarian example. You write "What good is a vision if abiding by it is not predicated upon volition?" Well, private property is not founded upon the volition of all. There are prisons full of people who didn't agree with private property. Every right, including property, is based on force, usually ultimately government force. And that force is aimed at people who would not volitionally accept those rights, because they'd profit from not accepting them.

Nope: libertarians like you want force, but only for the things you want and not for things others want. You want the violence of the state to coerce people into accepting your vision. Or worse, you want unaccountable anarchistic violence to to coerce people into accepting your vision.

John Pertz

Your notion of private property is perverse. If you dont believe that a citizen within a state or a consumer within an anarcho capitalist context has no right of protection then what is your logical foundation for morality? Is there such thing as self ownership in your world or is it morality predicated upon the will of politics? Offer me a starting point for your epitomization of morality and then I can begin to critique.

I begin my defense of private property rights with self ownership and then I go from there. It sounds like you are trying to argue that people in jail who steal or murder are there for unethical reasons because they do not believe in private property. If one does not own one's self then he himself is owned by someone else. Who watches the watchers in your hypothetical world of functional politics. BTW, for every interstate highway system there are more than enough "BIG DIGS" to maintain a logicaly justified anti-faith in government action.

Mike Huben

John, all I pointed out is that YOUR vision, that of property, is not based on YOUR standard, that of volition.

It's a simple, observable fact that rights are social fictions that endure only by enforcement. That includes notions such as self-ownership: without enforcement of that right, we see slavery instead. Slavery is enforcement of another kind of property relationship.

You confuse what you want with what really is. You want self-ownership, but that's not the universal condition and never has been. There are gaps in self-ownership, and enforcement is also imperfect: perfect enforcement would require enormous cost.

So what kind of logical foundation are you really using? Wishful thinking? You're simply violating the ought/is boundary in a very crass manner.

John Pertz

Mike, I guess it would depend on the context. If we are to be governed then government should respect the idea, or as you put it, social fiction of "self ownership." The type of government that would ensure this ideal would be a strong constitutional republic, as advocated by the economist James Buchanon.

If we are talking about a world without strong government or no government at all, then people will certainly buy their self ownership through private secruity firms. The subsequent law that will emerge, as the firms use courts to arbitrate their disputes, will certainly lean rather heavily in protecting the ideal of self ownership.

However, for the sake of argument, I will stick with the real world of democratic politics which we currently abide by.Hypotheticaly or idealy, all laws are dervied by people's perceptions of what is right or wrong. Therefore, arguing that self ownership is the highest ethic for government to protect is just as rational as you making any "positive" rights argument. I do understand that all rights are based upon actionable threats of violence either by state or private police, however, we have to create a starting point from which we say if you violate such ideal then violence will ensue. I say start with the right of self ownership and build your legal system from there. As you say, it takes grand visions when it comes to good government. Our argument is about hypothetical ideals that the government should protect, however, we differ in what ideals we would like the government to be actively involved in protecting. If we discard the principle of self ownership then government is almost worthless because we will eventualy abdicate heavy chunks of our personal freedom to the will of politicians. I dont care how functional the overbearing state becomes(Norway), it is my view that a government dedicated to protecting the "social fiction" of self ownershpip is a much more desirable and ethical place to live. Now I will wait for the coming onslaught of positive rights arguments.

Mike Huben

Sorry, John, but your argument is still twaddle. Self-ownership has never been a principle of our government, except perhaps for white male landowners and various other groups added over time, such as women. We still don't have self-ownership for children or the incompetent. We still have important claims on our bodies for military service. There are still plenty of restrictions on what we can legally do with our bodies.

And the reason why is simple: self-ownership is not the only thing we want. The reason nobody accepts one-dimensional thinking like yours is because most people have more than one dimensional values.

"Liberty and equality, spontaneity and security, happiness and knowledge, mercy and justice - all these are ultimate human values, sought for themselves alone; yet when they are incompatible, they cannot all be attained, choices must be made, sometimes tragic losses accepted in the pursuit of some preferred ultimate end. "
Isaiah Berlin, 'My Intellectual Path'

That's why so much libertarian writing is patent twaddle. Start with false assumptions, and you can "prove" anything.

John Pertz

"And the reason why is simple: self-ownership is not the only thing we want. The reason nobody accepts one-dimensional thinking like yours is because most people have more than one dimensional values."

That is fine. I will still argue on philosphical grounds that it is morally bankrupt for the government to violate other people's rights. Like I said before, self ownership is the principal that should epitomize government's ethical foundations. Whether or not the government actually does those things is a different conversation. I am arguing what the government ought to do and you are trying to refute my argument by saying" well the government actually doesnt do that and never will." There are plenty of things that the government ought naught to do but it does anyways. Many of these ineffective causes that government takes up are because people like yourself have so much faith in the idea that government ought to do so many things and that it can do so many things well. Ive yet to have any pro government advocate ever prove to me that democracy is anything more than a game of cost shifting. Irrespective of whatever rhetorical guise you try to place government under it is still nothing more than a competition between a bunch of special interests who have no ability to earn real profits in the market so they rent seak through government. Whatever faith based arguments you have to keep repeating back to yourself so that you can maintain your pubecent fantasy of the fucuntity of electoral politics is your problem not mine. Whether you chose to realize it or not you are still nothing more than baptist variable within the theory of "Bootleggers and Baptists." Keep telling yourself that heavy amounts of politics is omptimal and that the government can solve societies problems through mere fiat. What a religion I say.

Eric H

"obvious government successes AND even things libertarians want.

Eisenhower's vision of an interstate highway system for example. The green revolution in agriculture. The list is VERY long."

The IHS is neither an obvious gov't success nor a thing libertarians necessarily want.

The green revolution is not an obvious gov't success, and the term is so broad it would be hard to say whether libertarians would favor "it". Subsidizing corn, sugar, and cotton? These things are only qualified successes, but certainly not something most libertarians would favor.

Your view on the purpose behind NCLB requires George Bush, conservative legislative author Ted Kennedy, and a host of other supporters to be so diabolically genius as to make Jim Garrison look cool-headed in comparison.

Brad

Nothing new to talk about?

ghgscs

appunto chimica acciaio [url=https://588-appunto-chimica-acciaio.gt-ceron.org/]appunto chimica acciaio[/url] numero telecom fax [url=https://92-numero-telecom-fax.gt-cerfo.org/]numero telecom fax[/url]

Alex Smith

Hey buddy! Nice blog that you maintain here.. I just chanced upon your blog surfing the blogosphere. I was thinking.. you could try out some interesting widgets on your page and spice it up with more relevant information. E.g try out the new widget on https://www.widgetmate.com with your relevant keywords

Luyi

Dear Professor Miron,

Why don't you update your blog anymore?

Best,

Luyi

john pertz

Jeff is writing for CNN now. I miss this short lived blog.

Michael

Mr. Miron,

Thank you for such a straight-forward piece of work on cnn.com: cut taxes, don't increase spending. I read it on December 30. Major kudos.

Nima

I saw you on CNN today.

How refreshing to see someone with common sense hold an important position at an ivy league school.

We need more of that.

I wonder if you are interested in exchanging links with me. My blog is at www.economicsjunkie.com

Best regards,
Nima

Nursing pajamas

interesting post! i'm gonna agree with that! wish you all the best and good luck! There are plenty of things that the government ought naught to do but it does anyways.

cna classes michigan

in this context, what implications do “feral” Third World cities, “rogue” cities organized along non-Western ideas of urban space and infrastructure

CNA Schools Neveda

Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

dunk low

ok.trop cool et je reviendrai la prochaine fois.

Kara

Why don't you update your blog anymore?

supra schoenen

So agree with your point.great ideas!

prada schoenen

I agree, those are interesting points. This task is meant to help Afghanistan repress the worrisome, if predictable, expansion of its opium economy, it will greatly hamper

NATO's effectiveness.THx,

The comments to this entry are closed.